Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Paying for Press Coverage in Iraq

Now the liberal press seems to be whining about the new revelation that the Pentagon has been paying for positive publicity in the news media.

As pointed out on Betsy's Page, paying for positive press has long been a part of the American military strategy.

Military contracting is a complex and often dysfunctional field (as I learned firsthand in a previous existence as a Contracting Officer for the Department of Defense).

But just what is wrong with the notion of paying for positive publicity? The moonbats do it! I'm sure that Fenton Communications is not running the Cindy Sheehan Show for nothing!

Propaganda is just as necessary and legitimate as any other war strategy. When we had the September 11 Muslim terrorist attacks, Mayor Rudy Giuliani realized immediately that the battle had to be fought in the press as well as on other fronts. And those of the New York Republican Party (myself included) who curse Giuliani for delaying and thereby rendering ineffective Rick Lazio's campaign to oppose Hillary should remember that Rudy's high media visibility was made possible by none other than Governor George Pataki. George could easily have picked up the microphone, pulled rank on Rudy, and enjoyed all of the international media hype that was showered upon Rudy.

In many respects, the Giuliani administration and its aftermath is a replay of a script concerning Rudy's paesan from Philly, the late Frank L. Rizzo, where the party leadership passed over its own and put an outsider at the head of its ticket, and the outsider turned out to be a bull in the china shop who upset the equilibrium within the party. But at least the Democrats in Philly didn't lose their control over the city, like the Republicans in New York seem to be doing with their state. And there was the illusion of law and order in Philadelphia, because Rizzo, like Giuliani, knew how to get ink in the press. It is no mere coincidence that the Rizzo team included several journalists.

So, to the folks at the Pentagon, I say keep the positive publicity rolling, but make sure that you get good bang for the buck when you pay for the press coverage.

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